"NAWARO-Peat" - Peat replacement products by regional renewable resources
Peat has a lot of favourable characteristics for the usage in horticulture, for professional use as well as for hobby gardeners. Accordingly, the application of peat as a single substrate or as part in artificial soils is very high. In Austria only 10 % of natural moors are preserved and the digging of peat is reduced to a very low level. The main part of the used peat is imported from abroad, where huge moor areas are destroyed by digging. The protection of moor areas is one of the main goals of sustainable resource protection as well as in climate change discussions (about 20-30 % of global terrestrial carbon is accumulated in moor areas world-wide). By signing the "Alpenschutzkonvention" Austria has committed to the protection of moor ecosystems in general and in a log-term condition to substitute peat and peat containing products to "peat free" products. The main focus of the project is to prove possibilities to stop the peat usage in professional horticulture and hobby gardening by using renewable resources and biological waste which are regionally available. In the foreground of the project there are efficient economical as well as ecological solutions. The main goals of the project are 1 The characterisation of regional available renewable resources for the usage as an alter-native to peat;
The development and testing of treatment technologies which are necessary to create such a substrate;
The development of peat-free substrates for different application fields - especially for professional horticulture, biological vegetable gardening and hobby gardening.
The project consortium has partners out of research as well as from the practice, which ensures practicable and for special applications usable solutions.
Mag. Dr. Marion Reinhofer
Joanneum Research, Institut für nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme